Beware the dangerous Xmas ham

By Carly Gibbs with APNZ

Beware the Christmas ham, you might hurt yourself.

ACC has revealed it received several claims last Christmas following carving mishaps, burns, neck and knee strains from people carrying heavy hams.

They were part of a wide range of Christmas Day 2010 accidents costing ACC more than $1.98 million in treatment, rehabilitation and compensation.


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But one Tauranga butcher says ham injuries should never happen.

Assistant butcher at Bethlehem Butchers Reena Edwards urged enthusiastic carvers to forgo the wine until the ham was sliced.

The key to cutting a ham safely was cutting it away it from you and focusing on the job.<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

"And keep your fingers out of the way. It's common sense," Ms Edwards said.

She was perplexed some people had injured themselves carrying a ham, when most don't weigh more than 9kg.

Bethlehem Butchers is preparing 500 hams and turkeys this Christmas and there have been no injuries.

Of the 3040 injury claims accepted by ACC for Christmas day injuries, most were the result of active Kiwis outside.

Frisbee throwing, fishing, playing swingball, riding the slippery slide, trampolining, scooter riding, and poolside frolics all got a mention. Operations team manager for St John Mount Maunganui Gary Bishell said Christmas Day was usually busy for paramedics.

"We do get quite a few injuries from Christmas presents, scooters and skateboards, and generally it's grandma or granddad trying them out.

"By lunchtime we get a few chest pains, people get a bit stressed by the whole thing, and in past years there's been occasional assaults," Mr Bishell said.

Nationally, there was the large son-in-law who tackled a little too enthusiastically during a family rugby game and and fancy festive footwork which resulted in a few dance-related injuries.

For others it was the company of friends and family that proved injurious. One person laughed so hard they fainted, fell into the garden hitting their head. Another sustained injury while napping after lunch when a drunk person stood on their face.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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